Tips for remaining compliant to improve safety


Tips for remaining compliant to improve safety

Source: FleetAnswers Are your drivers remaining compliant with Department of Transportation regulations? All it takes is one failed DOT stop to create hefty fines for your company, and a lack of compliance represents a serious safety risk for your entire fleet. As you are considering ways to stay safe and increase the safety of your fleet as a whole, ensure that you fleet and its drivers are remaining compliant.

CSA, the main safety measurement and reporting initiative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is designed to keep commercial freight vehicles, and those that share the road with them, safe. Companies who utilize these vehicles and the drivers who drive them, as well as those who operate private fleets, must remain compliant to CSA regulations, or face fines. The goal is to create safer roads for everyone. Compliance regulation focuses on all areas of the fleet. It looks at driver behavior, maintained of the vehicle, the way a load is loaded and carried, driver fitness levels, hours of service and the use of controlled substances. Regular audits and checks help ensure that fleets are adhering to these important guidelines.

The cost of failure to comply is height. In 2011, for example, DOT-regulated truck, bus and motor coach companies shelled out over $30.6 million in fines for failure to comply. The average fine per case was over $5,000. this is a significant chunk of change for your fleet. Not only that, but non-compliant vehicles are often taken out of service, adding $350 in lost revenue per case. This does not even factor in the costs associated with accidents or litigation stemming from accidents caused by non-complaint vehicles. The costs are simply too high to overlook compliance.

Tips to Increase Compliance

Compliance is crucial for all involved in your fleet, including the drivers. While it's easy to overlook some aspects of compliance, or to be tempted to cut corners in order to get the job done, compliance needs to be addressed in order for your fleet to be successful and avoid unwanted penalties. These action steps will help.

  • Post driver scorecards for drivers and management to see with information about compliance and driver safety. Accountability will increase compliance.
  • Use GPS tracking to enforce accountability on behaviors that can be tracked.
  • Encourage drivers to self-evaluate their own compliance and driving behavior.
  • Clearly define the penalties for unsafe driving and non-compliant behaviors. Ensure that all drivers understand the penalties they face.
  • Define goals for improvement based on the driver scorecard, and measure that improvement at regular points throughout the year to ensure your drivers are working on improving.
  • Reward drivers who are clearly showing an increase in compliant behaviors.
  • Take measures to avoid sending drivers to deliveries that will have them racing the clock, which can increase the temptation to speed.
  • Track start and stop times of vehicles with your fleet tracking software to ensure drivers are adhering to 14- and 10-hour rules.
  • Provide drivers with safety training to ensure they understand the reason behind compliance regulations.